Hearn ‘blows’ £5m on host­ing four events in grounds of family man­sion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - Box­ing By Gareth A Davies

Eddie Hearn dis­closed yes­ter­day that his com­pany had in­vested £5 mil­lion in the four open-air, be­hind-closed-doors events which make up “Fight Camp” at the Match­room Sport head­quar­ters in the Es­sex coun­try­side be­gin­ning on Satur­day night, and re­vealed that heavy­weight cham­pion An­thony Joshua would re­turn in De­cem­ber against Kubrat Pulev.

“It started as just a germ of an idea, and my staff have run with it and I’m proud of what we have achieved,” Hearn ex­plained as he showed off the ring for the first time yes­ter­day.

“Hav­ing an event out­doors is dif­fer­ent, and we feel it will work re­ally well. It was worth us blow­ing a few quid, be­cause it looks spec­tac­u­lar and that’s good for us dur­ing this time out. But in all, in­clud­ing the purses for Dil­lian Whyte, Alexan­der Povetkin, Katie Taylor and Delfine Per­soon on Au­gust 22 [a pay-per-view event], the four events will have cost £5 mil­lion.”

Hearn is bank­ing on ex­plo­sive fights from his younger, less es­tab­lished fight­ers to fire up in­ter­est again in box­ing.

“These first three events are giv­ing work and good ex­po­sure to some of our other fight­ers, which they need even if it means tak­ing a bit of a purse re­duc­tion,” he added.

Ten box­ers on the week­end’s card are in quar­an­tine in a ho­tel near Hearn’s Brent­wood man­sion, which was bought by his fa­ther, Barry, 35 years ago for £200,000.

“It be­came the family home when I was five years old, and then I lived in here in my twen­ties alone

for a cou­ple of years. They were go­ing to sell it, but in the end, when my dad sold his Rom­ford head­quar­ters, we de­cided to keep it.

“To have this Fight Camp in the gar­den we ran around in as kids is an amaz­ing feel­ing.

Sky Sports will air the first three events, with Sky Box Of­fice show­ing Whyte-Povetkin and Tay­lorPer­soon. Taylor fights Per­soon again af­ter de­feat­ing the Bel­gian con­tro­ver­sially on points at Madi­son Square Gar­den, New York, on the night Joshua suf­fered his first ca­reer de­feat against Andy Ruiz Jnr.

Hearn is adamant that Joshua, the linch­pin of his sta­ble, would have to wait un­til De­cem­ber to de­fend his three heavy­weight ti­tles.

“AJ draws a min­i­mum £5mil­lion gate, so it’s hard to get him out there with­out a sig­nif­i­cant crowd, so we are now see­ing a change from our orig­i­nal thoughts on Oc­to­ber to

based on gov­ern­ment guide­lines.

“AJ has vis­ited Match­room while we have been set­ting up – in fact he used to train here on the he­li­copter pad in the gar­den when he first started out – and he is champ­ing at the bit to get out there again.

“He last fought in De­cem­ber [aveng­ing the de­feat by Ruiz in Saudi Ara­bia] and we must get him out this year. The most we could hope for in Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber is a crowd of about 2,000. We can’t even rely on go­ing some­where abroad like Saudi [Ara­bia] for a big site fee be­cause ev­ery coun­try has a coro­n­avirus prob­lem.

“But, re­ally, if things don’t change at all, we may even see Joshua fight­ing here in the gar­den on pay-per-view. We have to look at ev­ery even­tu­al­ity. It’s about adapt­ing, and even Fight Camp is about that phi­los­o­phy.”

Ready to go: Eddie Hearn shows off ‘Fight Camp’ at Match­room’s head­quar­ters in Brent­wood

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